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Jason Witten Leaning Toward Playing In 2020


FRISCO, Texas – He might not know where it happens, but it sounds like Jason Witten wants to continue playing football in 2020.

The Cowboys' longtime tight end is in Miami ahead of Super Bowl LIV this weekend, and he made the rounds with several media outlets. Considering he just finished his 16th NFL season and is slated for free agency, it's not hard to guess at the questions he fielded.

Witten sat down with USA Today, where he was asked if he could see himself entering into coaching. But the answer to that question shed some light on his short-term plans.

"I just want to exhaust every opportunity to play and obviously try to play in a game like this, coming up this weekend – the Super Bowl," he said. "But yeah I think, post-career, I could see myself coaching for sure."

The future Hall of Famer has obviously dabbled with retirement before. Witten retired in the spring of 2018 to become the color analyst on ESPN's "Monday Night Football." He returned to the Cowboys last February for his 16th season, now a franchise record.

The year off didn't seem to hinder him too much, as he caught 63 passes for 560 yards and four touchdowns, bringing him within one score of Dez Bryant's franchise mark of 73 career touchdown catches.

"I was proud of the way I played. Every time an older player gets toward the end of their career, they're always talking about 'I feel better now than I did 10 years ago,'" he said. "Not necessarily the case for me, but I still feel good. I think that year off helped me."

What that means for his future is hard to say. The Cowboys have a new head coach in Mike McCarthy, and Witten is currently out of contract. As a longtime veteran of the NFL, Witten acknowledged the future is not completely in his hands. Speaking on "The Rich Eisen Show," he detailed that thought process.

"I have 16 years in Dallas. You would love to finish it off there. But I also am not naïve enough to think – you know, it may need to be somewhere else," he said. "That's how this business works. You have to be open to that idea, for sure. But I think the biggest thing is having those open conversations with Jerry and Stephen and Mike and see where this thing takes us here in the next couple months."